Charity to mark year of young people with more planned sails

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A young cancer survivor from Glasgow is thanking Dame Ellen MacArthur for a life-changing sailing trip during his road to recovery.

Nathan Gartshore (25), who was treated at The Beatson for Hodgkins Lymphoma, got the chance to go on a four-day sail last year with the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust on board the yacht Caledonian Hero, which the charity was able to purchase with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The Trust, in 2018, is planning to mark the Year of Young People in Scotland with plans to take a record number of 18-24 year olds recovering from cancer on sailing trips. Nathan would highly recommend it.

He said: “Trust trips allow us to focus on what we can do, they teach you to be independent but also the importance of team work. It’s great to have the opportunity to escape from ‘normal’ life and have a change in routine.”

The yacht Nathan boarded, which is based in Largs on the west coast of Scotland, is preparing to take more young people out to sea this September (10th-13th) and the charity is urging 18-24 year olds who have now finished cancer treatment to take part. It’s completely FREE and the charity takes care of all travel arrangements.

Dame Ellen said: “It’s an opportunity not to be missed. By coming on a trip, not only do these young adults get to feel like they are not the only ones enduring such insecurities and vulnerabilities, but they have the chance to rediscover their voice again, express opinions and be treated as equals. We are enormously grateful for the ongoing support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery who make this possible.”

Departing from the Trust’s base at Largs Yacht Haven, the young people navigate the waters of the Firth of Clyde, enjoying various stopovers including Port Bannatyne on the picturesque Isle of Bute, before putting their new skills to the test cruising back into Largs. During a four-day sailing trip, young people get involved in every aspect of running a yacht including domestic routines. They live, sleep and eat on the yacht and sail from place to place.

Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We are so pleased that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are able to support the Trust to help young people look beyond their experience of cancer and realise their potential. We believe these trips will start them on a new journey with new friends and new confidence in their capabilities.”